United States

These Small Towns Are America's New Growth Engines, But Can You Afford To Move There? (Check Out House Prices Inside)

The US Census Bureau has revealed the fastest-growing cities in the country, with Celina, TX, claiming the top spot with a population of 20,000 or more. Texas claims eight of the 15 fastest-growing cities.

Representative image Photo: Pinterest

The US Census Bureau’s latest figures have revealed the fastest-growing cities across the nation. Yet, what's surprising is that some of these burgeoning locales might not have been heard of.

Topping the list is Celina, TX, grabbing the top spot for fastest-growing cities with a population of 20,000 or more. From July 2022 to July 2023, this Dallas-Fort Worth metro area witnessed a staggering population surge of 26.6%, dwarfing the national growth rate by over 53 times.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist of Realtor.com, says, “The list of fastest-growing cities includes a lot of smaller cities that are not likely to be on many people’s radar”.

Fulshear, TX follows Celina and take the number 2. In fact, Texas claims eight of the 15 fastest-growing cities, monopolizing the top four spots. Fulshear, with a median home price of $519,000, owes its growth to its proximity to Houston, merely an hour away.

“A strong jobs market, relative housing affordability, and robust housing construction are just some of the factors that have attracted people to Texas in recent years,” Hale says.

Rounding out the top five are Princeton, TX ($350,000 median price); Anna, TX ($427,500); and California's lone representative, Lathrop ($741,600).

“Lathrop City used to be somewhat of a joke. Their claim to fame was a chicken wire factory when I was growing up,” says Tyler Drew, president of Anubis Properties. “Then a few years ago, Tesla moved in a battery production facility on the outskirts of town, and suddenly it became a mini Silicon Valley. There’s now a whole new subdivision with STEM elementary and high schools. The planned communities around the battery factories and other tech businesses have their own private lakes and recreational facilities.”

However, the title for the most expensive city on the list goes to Prosper, TX, with a median list price of $919,000. Cindy Allen, a Southlake, TX-based agent, highlights the influx of newcomers attracted by the city's new construction projects, “These neighboring cities [to Fort Worth–Dallas] offer lots of new construction across all price ranges”.

Meanwhile, Athens, OH, earns a spot on the list, largely attributed to its status as a college town, notes Mike Wall of eXp Realty/EZ Sell Homebuyers. The presence of Ohio University drives population growth, bolstered by academic and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The housing unit growth closely mirrors the cities experiencing the fastest expansion, with California, Texas, and Florida leading in numeric gains.

While Texas's population boom in 2023 was remarkable, Hale suggests a potential slowdown due to increased housing availability, contrasting with tightening markets elsewhere. The 2024 data may unveil shifts in the rankings as these trends unfold.

These are 15 fastest-growing US cities and their median home prices:

  1. Celina, TX - $679,999

  2. Fulshear, TX -$519,000

  3. Princeton, TX -$350,000

  4. Anna, TX -$427,500

  5. Lathrop, CA -$741,600

  6. Centerton, AR -$447,800

  7. Haines City, FL -$338,000

  8. Georgetown, TX -$499,500

  9. Prosper, TX -$919,000

  10. Forney, TX -$377,990

  11. Kyle, TX -$375,000

  12. Lebanon, TN -$484,900

  13. Fort Mill, SC -$519,900

  14. Leesburg, FL -$329,250

  15. Athens, OH -$315,000